We Tried This New Hands-Free Blowdryer — & Here's Our Unfiltered Opinion

When it comes to hot tools, I’m a creature of habit — and I rarely upgrade my arsenal. For example: I've long remained faithful to the rotating Sarah Potempa Beachwaver curling iron, which practically creates my effortless coils for me. And when it comes to blowdryers, I like them to be three things: lightweight (I have no arm strength), infused with ionic technology (it helps speed up the process), and equipped with a handle (because, quite frankly, that's the only option).

Needless to say, when the new CHI Dura Handshot Hair Dryer landed on my desk, I was skeptical. Of course, it's not surprising, as the classic blowdryer has gotten more than one makeover this year. I gave it a test-drive, of course, but first let's dive into the details.

What You Need To Know
The dryer does not have a handle, which is said to help achieve better angles during drying. There's a built-in drying stand on the opposite side of the airflow, where you can set the device down (thus: using no hands) as you switch between sections or brushes. When you're ready to get to work, the idea is to hold the black nozzle with your hand — as opposed to the handle on regular dryers — and direct the heat that way. You can also hover above the dryer while rough drying. (Or while faking a Marilyn Monroe moment, if that's your thing.)

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The settings are loaded onto a touch screen, which made me feel apprehensive — wouldn't my fingers accidentally adjust them as I blow-dried? And that nozzle — what if I burned my hand? Well, consider me enlightened.

The Test-Drive
As soon as I tried it, all of my blowdryer woes (like the time suck and arm fatigue) went right out the window — while taking up less space in my crowded New York apartment. How? This puppy is loaded with 1750 watts of juice and ceramic technology, which slashed my dry time by three whole minutes — yes I timed it — an eternity when you're sitting under a direct blast of heat.

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Despite my earlier concerns, the screen settings were on a touch sensitive control screen, meaning I could click the lock button before starting to prevent it from switching hot to cold then cold to hot.

The real winning attribute, however, is the nozzle. It really did make it easier to move quickly, set it down during the blowdry and pick it up fast, and angle the heat properly, because I could glide the airflow over a completely new area with a quick flick of the wrist. (The nozzle even has molded finger grooves so it feels extra comfortable in your hand.)

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Is it truly hands-free? Not really. And yes, this device looks weird, confusing, and maybe even hard to use. But — as a long-standing advocate of lazy girl beauty — consider this my stamp of approval.

CHI Dura Chi Handshot Hair Dryer, $144.99, available at Farouk.
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